• The main character is Harry Dresden, a wizard in Chicago. Inhabitants of the city are being tormented by a slew of ghosts, as well as a mysterious apparition known as the Nightmare. Harry is the one charged with using his powers to save himself and those he loves.
• The novel opens with Harry driving toward Cook County Hospital. With Harry is Michael Carpenter, a Knight of the Cross, who is going to help Harry vanquish a ghost that they heard is tormenting the hospital.
• In the car, Michael asks Harry if he loves his girlfriend, and forces him to admit it. He refers to a woman named Elaine, and Harry reacts angrily. Michael warns Harry about the dangers of isolating himself from others.
• As Harry is driving, he speeds and a cop starts following him. They arrive at the hospital and grab their gear, including Harry's...
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